Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Chris Froome Crashes 5 Km From Finish In Tour De France Opener

Chris Froome Crashes 5 Km From Finish In Tour De France Opener

The Slovak was thrown out after the fourth stage 12 months ago for sending Mark Cavendish crashing in a chaotic sprint, but he won it clean this time to beat Italian Sonny Colbrelli and France's Arnaud Demare into second and third places.

"The only thing I can really understand from it was that Chris didn't even go to the adverse analytical finding, it didn't even get to that stage, he was asked to explain himself which he got given due process to do and he was cleared by the people that run the sport and doping agency and that's all we really know".

Former leader Peter Sagan was dropped by his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates and fell to 80th overall, three minutes behind.

It is a measure of just how much success Team Sky have enjoyed at recent Tours de France that when Geraint Thomas missed out on the yellow jersey yesterday by only three seconds he barely shrugged.

Because he does not realise that it takes mayors taking stages of the Tour de France for such great events to take place.

BMC Racing were four seconds quicker than their nearest rivals, Team Sky, in the stage three team time trial.

By finishing second in the 35.5km team time-trial around Cholet, Team Sky did that with typical efficiency.

Van Avermaet, who excels at single-day classics, isn't a threat for the overall title but he could keep the lead through the cobblestoned Stage 9 ending in Roubaix.

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Froome was left 55 seconds behind in the overall standings with another week of nervy rolling stages before hitting the Alps.

For Porte, the stage win took on special significance as it marked a year since he crashed out of last year's Tour on the decent into Chambery on the ninth stage. "On a course like that, I don't push a lot of weight, so it's pretty hard to contribute but we did the best we could and the time is pretty good".

BMC Racing has been a ideal fit for Bevin, who has been able to develop into one of the premier time trial riders on the World Tour. "That's the nature of the game".

Van Avermaet earned the yellow jersey by leading BMC over the line, just ahead of American teammate Tejay van Garderen, who moved up to second overall, with the same time as Van Avermaet.

Overall, Froome is in 18th place, 55 seconds off the pace and still 44 behind 2017 Giro d'Italia victor Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who with Team Sunweb only lost seven seconds to the Briton today.

From a general classification perspective it was a good day for the Briton, who suffered minimal losses to Chris Froome, Tom Dumoulin, and Richie Porte, while putting time back into all of the other yellow jersey contenders. "Nothing is going to change, we just have to try to stay out of trouble and hope we get lucky".

He lies 20th overall, one minute off leader Greg Van Avermaet and 57 seconds off Thomas, but nevertheless in the same ballpark as the bulk of GC riders.

The only individual time trial of the race comes in the penultimate stage, over a 31-kilometer route from Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle to Espelette in the Basque country.

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